|My Dear Ms. Eva (I do hope that's your first name - I extracted it from the email address in your profile),|
Wolfer, Well, I tend to use the name listed in the post ("Mathews" in your case), and I am an old male... was I teaching you any philosophy? :-)
Most of my instructors use first names, a minority use ms or sir, and only one uses last names. And guess what , he's rather old, male of gender, and teaches philosophy!
I usually use a person's first name - when I have it, but out of respect, I'll go with the person's wishes on this. You tell me how you'd prefer to be addressed.
As to axioms, I'll let Rand speak for herself:
"Axioms are usually considered to be propositions identifying a fundamental, self-evident truth. But explicit propositions as such are not primaries: they are made of concepts. The base of man’s knowledge—of all other concepts, all axioms, propositions and thought—consists of axiomatic concepts. That ain't Plato! And when you say, "...axioms derive from math..." you need not be so restrictive. "Axiom" isn't the only word to have acquired slightly different meanings in different fields.
An axiomatic concept is the identification of a primary fact of reality, which cannot be analyzed, i.e., reduced to other facts or broken into component parts. It is implicit in all facts and in all knowledge. It is the fundamentally given and directly perceived or experienced, which requires no proof or explanation, but on which all proofs and explanations rest.
The first and primary axiomatic concepts are “existence,” “identity” (which is a corollary of “existence”) and “consciousness.” One can study what exists and how consciousness functions; but one cannot analyze (or “prove”) existence as such, or consciousness as such. These are irreducible primaries. (An attempt to “prove” them is self-contradictory: it is an attempt to “prove” existence by means of non-existence, and consciousness by means of unconsciousness.)" [from Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, page 55]
In any case, Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, et al, employed, and still employ, a 'method' for discovering reality precisely because it isn't immediate.I'd point out that the 'method' one should employ will be applied to what one perceives. Our connection to reality is via the senses which are presented to us as perceptions. We have to begin with the perceptions before we can form the abstractions that give us the deeper understanding of reality.
Driving the competition out of business by willfully lowering one's rate of profit is how the system works. Big companies, having more assets, can sacrifice profit for a longer time. Competition is about making the consumer happier with your product or service than the alternatives, while making a profit that justifies the capital risk. Apple has increased it's market share while being at the high end of the price spectrum. Liberals are always fussing about "driving the competition out of business" as if they ever wanted competition... given their predilection for establishing state monopolies - like single payor health systems, taking over industries instead of privatizing. With the ultra-liberals, the first thing to understand is that lies are their primary tool - the means they believe to be justified by their ends - they can, and do, make up whole bodies of 'knowledge' to justify gaining control over others and to motivate the ignorant but faithful. That's the bare-bones nature of the beast.
Well, at least that's what we learn in Economics class as taught by ultra-liberals who want to destroy free enterprise!
Markets and property have always existed within the context of a particular political organization that defines right and obligation.There is the moral and there is the legal. They aren't the same. In a rational moral system, I am the owner of my body, for example, and that is regardless of what laws the political organization passes. So, I have a moral right to smoke pot even if I live in a state where the laws make it illegal. And you are quite right that "markets... have always existed within the context of a particular political organization." Having an objectively derived moral code, makes it possible to derive a rational legal system based upon universal moral values - i.e., individual rights. In this way we can have moral rights, legal rights, and the obligations created by that political organization are just to not violate those laws that are protecting the individual rights (moral rights).
If ... you're simply using 'mob' and 'elite' to describe arrangements not to your liking..."Nope. I'm doing more than describing something that's not to my liking. I'm pointing out the logical inconsistency of assuming any rationality in a political system that has different rules for different people. Laws (and government itself) derive their moral justification from benefiting each person subject to it's jurisdiction equally. Equal under the law, is the measure. Rule by elites is, by its nature, subjective and destructive of individual rights which are the tie between morality and law that makes equal under the law possible. If we do have any moral rights (like the right to our life) then our rights are, of logical necessity, equal (there can be no such thing as a right to violate a right). From that position we can see that a majority group of individuals can not 'rightfully' violate the rights of a minority group of individuals. To attempt to derive moral right out of majority rule is to justify lynch mob behavior.
I seriously doubt if she [Rand] intended to create a movement in which her writings would always remain the last word.You've got that right - she abhorred movements of that sort. We agree that ethics/morality should not be seen as subjective. And that is where Rand was adamant that people not attempt to take her words and use them in ways she would not agree with. Let them create their own set of words - her statements always came from her premise that there is an objective reality.